Column: Mentoring in the workplaceWorking with very successful business people over the course of my career, I have gained great insight into how they became successful.
By: Beverly Patronas, For the Budgeteer News
Working with very successful business people over the course of my career, I have gained great insight into how they became successful.
I have had two very important mentors who have given me inspiration and many tools to succeed in both my business and personal life.
Mentoring relationships should be encouraged by top executives in all businesses. It is a learning experience that every employee should have available to them. Employees who feel personally invested and involved in the goals and vision of the organization on a day-to-day basis are better performers and less likely to be seeking job satisfaction elsewhere.
Developing people is a strategic process that adds value to both the employees and the bottom line of every organization. Good leaders will manage their human assets, and, in doing so, will advance their businesses or organizations’ missions and help their employees reach their potential success.
Top executives know that talented people are hard to find. When looking to add to their teams or to replace current employees, they often find that it costs more to attract and train a new employee than it does to put training efforts into the current staff. This is why mentoring and succession planning are important, to keep talented employees within the organization and develop them to their full potential. Good leadership and the transfer of knowledge will keep young talent and keep a business strong for the future.
A good mentor is a wealth of information with a knowledge base obtained from constantly working on issues, problems, or situations; therefore, they know which processes are effective and which are not. A good mentor will know how to inspire the next generation and will do so by teaching the importance of the hows and whys of how things are done, rather than just telling the person mentored how to do things.
A good mentor should be someone who:
• Thinks about issues from multiple perspectives
• Has experience, knowledge and expertise
• Makes use of employees’ talents and skills to achieve the desired results
• Shows others how to sustain the desired results
• Brings fresh ideas that are highly relevant in the given industry
• Teaches skills to give employees a competitive edge and shows them how to capitalize on opportunities
• Instructs employees about objectivity
• Assists employees to recognize impediments and barriers and shows them how to manage them
• Helps others recognize their strengths and weaknesses, thereby improving their leadership skills, both business and personal
• Models core values in business (or in life) such as accountability, integrity, respect, and commitment.
The vision of the organization’s future may change, and therefore the top executives must align the organization’s strategic objectives with the work and skills necessary to realize those objectives. These changes should be reflected in the job descriptions and the mentoring approach. The mentor needs to see what motivates the next generation and guide them into thinking about how the business vision may change in the future and give that next generation ideas on how to implement these changes.
Develop your people for the future. Hire team members with good character; train them with the skills they need to be effective. Treat them well and acknowledge a great idea and a job well done. Identify your mentor; ask the tough questions; be sure to say “Thank you,” and let your mentor know how they have influenced your life.
I have gone from being a mentee to a mentor in many areas, but will forever be learning and sharing knowledge with someone wanting to learn from my business experiences. The most important thing I have learned is people always have the resources within them. They may not know how to access these skills, talents and knowledge at the time,
for whatever reason, so my job as their mentor is to help them find what’s within them to make them successful.
There are many things that go into creating success. I like to do things that cause my mentees to succeed. I don’t succeed if they don’t succeed.
Beverly Patronas is the owner and principal consultant of
bp solutions, a business consulting service in Duluth.